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Historic Trentham, 1914-1917: The Story of a New Zealand Military Training Camp, and Some Account of the Daily Round of the Troops within Its Bounds


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This book was written with the idea of giving some inkling to the civilian mind of what the soldier's life in a New Zealand training camp is like, and at the same time an opportunity has been taken of writing briefly the story of the growth of Trentham Camp very many of the heroes of Gallipoli, France, Mesopotamia and Egypt were trained at Trentham, and the Camp Commandant has witnessed the training, at Awapuni and at Trentham, of men of every draft that has gone overseas. Visitors to the Camp tread where heroes have trod. The Seconds, Thirds, Fourths, Fifths and Sixths—all Anzacs—walked and talked and laughed in these places; they sang their marching songs as they tramped along the neighbouring roads; and since that time many reinforcements have been trained and despatched, their numbers reaching well into the thirties.

This Camp in the curve of the hills has a place in the hearts of the people of New Zealand, as well as in the official history of the war. Featherston has its roll of honour, too, and so has Tauherenikau. But there is this to be said of Trentham: it is the Camp wherein all tests and trials of ideas were made, whose early struggles involved the solution of problems that had never before clamoured for solution in this country. So far as New Zealand was concerned, war came like a bolt from the blue, and Trentham will ever be, in the memories of New Zealanders, the place wherein the system was evolved under which the fighting men who have won renown overseas were trained, and the regular despatch of Reinforcements maintained without interruption.